Tech Guide

So you just bought a phone with no headphone jack — here's how to use wireless Bluetooth headphones

Key Points
  • Setting up a smartphone with Bluetooth headphones is easy.
  • And there's no better time, since smartphones are ditching headphone jacks.
  • We'll walk you through how to do it.

It's about time you knew how to pair a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones with your phone.

Since Apple ditched the headphone jack last year, other smartphone makers are launching new devices that no longer feature the convenient port. If you want headphones that plug in to your phone, you need to use either Lightning or USB-C headphones, and finding them can be a bit trickier than looking for a standard pair.

But you don't have to plug anything in if you're willing to spring for wireless Bluetooth headphones. There are plenty to choose from in all price ranges.

The only catch: They're a little harder to set up than just plugging a headphone jack in. Here's how to do it.

Put your new headphones into pairing mode

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Usually you just have to hold the power button to put Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode. If that doesn't work, check the manual that came with your headphones. An LED indicator typically flashes blue and red or you'll hear a noise through the headphones when they're ready to roll.

For this tutorial, I have a set of VAVA MOOV 28 Bluetooth headphones. They retail for about $30 and offer pretty solid battery life, can take calls, let you access Siri and more.

You can splurge, too, if you want to spend more for great sound and other features. I also own a set of Bose QC35 Bluetooth headphones that are great for noise canceling and long plane rides but cost about $400.

Turn on Bluetooth on your phone, and search for your headphones

Todd Haselton | CNBC

It's easy to activate Bluetooth on an Android or iPhone.

  • On an iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and then toggle the switch to on. It'll search for devices. Tap the headphones listed.
  • On an Android device, pull down the shade from the top of the phone and long-press the Bluetooth icon. It'll bring you right to the Bluetooth menu where you can turn it on and then search for devices. Tap the name of the headphones you're trying to pair.

Jam out

Todd Haselton | CNBC

That's all there is to it. Now it's time to jam out.

Some headphones will let you access Siri controls, which is a nice bonus, or place and receive phone calls from the headset. Others may just be simple earbuds, so be sure to check what's supported before you buy.

Oh, and keep in mind that you'll want to charge them nightly. Bluetooth headphones are great, but they rarely last as long between charges as advertised.